Can you tell us about your main character? The main character of book one is a Jew named Matthew. He just turned thirteen, a young boy growing into a man, when Revelation was sent as a letter from John to Matthew’s church in Ephesus. By the time we reach book two, about John’s Gospel, Matthew has grown into a young man, courting a gentile woman, and has lost faith in Jesus. John, on his deathbed, revives this faith as he is dictating his new gospel. (Yes, I argue—convincingly, I hope—that Revelation was written years before John’s Gospel.)
How did you develop your characters? Part of the focus of the book is to highlight theological differences. Choosing the name “Matthew” for the primary character was meant to associate him with the Gospel of Matthew. Although it’s overplayed a little (I don’t really imagine the author of Matthew’ Gospel to be anything like my character), it does help bring out the tension between these two Christian influences. From there, the main character simply grew into the portrayal.
Who designed the cover? For the first book of the series, I used a print from www.RevelationIllustrated.com. But while these are beautiful prints, my publicist didn’t recommend using another for book two, because they look too old fashioned for a book cover. So, I hired a local artist, with a company name of Mayfly Design.
How do you promote this book? My publicist promoted the book before publication, but I have continued the efforts on my own after that. The primary source of promotion is my own webpage, which hopefully draws readers looking for thought-provoking theological study.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Oh, very much so! John’s message may be summarized to say that the new age is ours for the grasping, if we so desire. God has come back to earth as the prophets of old promised. What we make of the world, now, is up to us … and the single, primary law of Christ is to love one another.
How much of the book is realistic? This is an interesting format, blending scripture, fiction, and Bible commentary into the same book. It’s like a three-threaded braid. The fiction is realistic in spirit; the commentary is truth as I know it; and the scripture … well, that depends on how you interpret it! J
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Family members have commented that they think the main character, Matthew, is meant to be me. It’s not, sorry! But maybe my nature is more transparent than I think.
How important do you think villains are in a story? There are very definitely villains in the first story (about Revelation). One of them, we today would call the Antichrist. Then there is the False Prophet and Satan himself. Yes, it very definitely adds to the story to flesh out the villains in first-century thought. However, when I reached the sequel, about John’s Gospel, all villains disappear. This is not accidental; the contrast between Revelation and John’s Gospel is intentional.
What are your goals as a writer? I honestly can’t figure out if I am a “writer” or not. My goal is simply to communicate. I send my books through rigorous editing to make them palatable to readers, but I am not a story-teller; I’m not writing to entertain. I would say my primary goal is to meet people and enjoy discussion.
What happens if we pull John’s Gospel out from the shadow of the other three, and grant John a mind of his own? What will he have to say? Why does this gospel deviate so drastically from the theology of the others? Could this really be the reminiscing of an original apostle, sixty years after the death of Jesus? Were Christians finally being made privy to the direct teachings and miracles of the Son of God?
Listen in as John finally dictates his version of the Jesus story to a Gentile scribe and a disheartened fellow Jew.
In this astonishing and controversial verse-by-verse examination of the Fourth Gospel, you’ll learn to appreciate John’s contribution to Christianity in a surprising new way. I guarantee, you’ve never read John’s Gospel like this before!
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Genre – Religion / Christianity
Rating – G
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